Today’s photo: Alice is a spiritual work in progress.
Today’s lesson: One person’s cliche is another person’s tried-and-true.
When I took a picture of Alice on New Year’s Day, I was just taking a picture for that day. I wasn’t trying to set up a month-long or year-long project with a single object. I’m on day 9 and still taking pictures of Alice, though, because more people are asking me how Alice is doing than are asking how I’m doing. More people are asking me how Alice is doing than are asking how my Mama is doing, and I live in Mississippi where everyone asks how your Mama is doing. So here I am taking pictures of Alice, and I guess her day-to-day adventures have turned into a story that I am telling. I don’t know how long the story is or how many chapters it has. I’m just the one taking the pictures. Alice has to have her own adventures. Maybe I’ll go for a month of Alice. If that works, maybe I’ll go for a few more days or a few more weeks.
I’d like to to be one of those people who does a year with one object, but I don’t know if I have it in me. I don’t yet know if I have tomorrow in me. I have no more idea than anyone else does what Alice might get up to tomorrow. I just have some concerns about my ability to keep this interesting.
Case in point: Today’s shot shows Alice in the foreground and a church in the background. The background establishes Alice’s location and suggests the story of what she might be doing or thinking. This is a cliche setup. It’s one I’ve already used several times. The subject is in the foreground. The background establishes the context for the story of what the subject is doing. I’ve done this several times because it works. It’s not all that creative if you use the same setup every day for your shot, though. Same setup. Same subject. New background. I could pull this off for a few days or weeks but not for a year. At some point I have to get a new game.
Anyhow, it’s a cliche shot, and it’s a cliche because it works. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t be such a common pattern in photographs.
Sometimes you just have to go with what works. Tomorrow is time enough to figure out something different to try.